It hasn’t been signed off on yet but Jay’s IEP (individualized education plan) is pretty much set for next year. The meeting with his team went well. It felt a lot more casual and collaborative than meetings in the past. There was a lot of talk about the areas he struggles with: Delaying his gratification, *pragmatic language, behavioral issues, Spanish class. There was also a lot of talk about his strengths: huge improvements in communication, comprehension, improvement in social skills (playing with other kids), no more problems with transitions, “graduating” from occupational therapy, listening and helping and sharing and academics.
Come September, the plan has him splitting his day between his self-contained class and a main stream class. He will start off doing language and math in a general education class (sharing an aide with a couple of other special ed students). Those are his strongest subjects. He will spend the rest of his day in his current setting. (The same teacher follows the class from kindergarten through to 2nd grade. I think that’s awesome!). He will gradually increase the number of classes that he takes in that general ed class until he has fully transitioned by the end of the school year.
He will no longer get any occupational therapy at school. His teachers have tasked us with helping him to learn how to tie his shoe laces. But they are satisfied with all his other gross and fine motor skills. I would agree. No occupational therapy pull out means more classroom time which we all think is more beneficial to him. He does an awesome job of learning from other children who have mastered skills that he’s still learning.
In speech therapy there will be less attention paid to vocabulary and pronunciation etc and more attention on higher level concepts. *See below.
There will be a lot of focus on his academics which are fairly strong (except for Spanish) and they will work with us to keep encouraging him to eat a wider variety of foods.
There will also be a pretty big focus on his behavior which is still an area of concern. The teaching/therapy staff is going to work more closely with us (the parents) so that the same strategies that they find successful at school can be used at home also. I admit that disciplining him is one of MY biggest challenges.
That’s about it. Everyone is excited about the progress he has made and to see him grow even more. That really was the overall feel of the meeting. Excitement and pride. I’m happy with that.
Of course this is all subject to change at any time.
*This is a HUGE area of struggle for Jay so I figured I’d give a little more info since most people probably don’t go around using words like “pragmatic language” (how to use language appropriately in social situations) on a regular basis. It involves the mastering of the foll, for example:
- Changing language according to the needs of a listener or situation, such as:
- talking differently to a baby than to an adult
- giving background information to an unfamiliar listener
- speaking differently in a classroom than on a playground
- lowering your voice in a Church/movie theatre etc.
- Following rules for conversations, such as:
- taking turns in conversation
- introducing topics of conversation
- staying on topic
- rephrasing when misunderstood
- how to use verbal and nonverbal signals
- how close to stand to someone when speaking
- how to use facial expressions and eye contact